Dear Ava Lynne,
You are one month old today. It feels so bittersweet watching you grow, knowing I will never again hold my own newborn baby in my arms. I still remember what it's like to be pregnant, to have a precious life growing in my womb one moment, and be given the amazing, life-changing title of mother (once again) another. But soon even those memories will fade and our family will be moving into the next stage of our lives. You seem to be growing and changing infinitely faster than the other two did, and I am grappling to hold on to each moment as it slips away. Your tiny newborn cry is such a joy to me and even the long nights seem blissful in the face of certain reality that you are the final addition to our family.
And although I insisted you were a girl my entire pregnancy, it's only been in the last few weeks that I allowed myself to realize how much I WANTED another girl. Sweet girl you are such a miraculous answer to prayer, one I never even whispered. And as much as I dread this rapid growth process, I so look forward to your first smile, tiny giggles and watching you interact with your sister and brother. It's the "lasts" that scare me. If I had known the last day I was pregnant was the last day I would have held on tighter, rubbed my belly more often and had someone take a million pictures. I would have read bedtime stories to my older children knowing things would never be the same and squeezed them a little tighter when I kissed them goodnight. I would have told them, as I tell myself now. That there are such wonderful things to come, not to be frightened about the future or heartbroken about what's behind us. But all those things seem easier said than done these days. The realization that so many things I dreamed about my whole life have been fulfilled and are behind me and the uncertainty that comes with this next phase of my life. The necessity of new hopes and dreams for myself (and mostly for my children) and the I always knew I wanted to get pregnant and HAVE children.
I am not sure I thought about actually raising those children. Getting pregnant, growing a life, piece of cake! I think most people would agree, this is the hard part. I think I gasp and have my heart hurl into my chest about 27 times a day watching Lance attempt to climb the latter at the park. And my heart hurts for Kaitlyn when she gets her feelings hurt and soars with joy when I see what a sweet heart she has for her siblings. The reality that I have been given this awesome responsibility is so overwhelming sometimes. I am responsible for three tiny lives...for helping to shape, encourage and love them. And, eventually, let them go as adults, praying I did enough things right for them to flourish in so many ways. It's days like today when I repeat Matthew 6:34 over and over to myself... "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own."
So on this very emotional milestone day I can only promise to try and love you everyday the way I do today, and promise to try and remember this post when you are 2...and 12... and 15...and 22. :)